Juanito Perez, like many dogs in Valdivia, lives in a strange limbo: he is both a street dog and a community dog. Juanito doesn’t have a definitive home, but he has many people who care for him, feed him and worry about his health.
A few weeks ago, a neighbor noticed he had a big wound on one of his legs and, knowing we had met Juanito before, he brought him to the GAAP clinic. Dr. Angélica cleaned and treated the wound and Juanito stayed with us for a few hours but since he doesn’t have a home, at the end of the day he was back on the streets.
This is something we constantly deal with at the clinic: street dogs are brought in and once treated, their recovery becomes a big question mark. Without constant supervision, a warm dry place to stay and the appropriate diet, a full recovery is never guaranteed.
Although some clinics are equipped with kennel space and outdoor runs, unfortunately, the GAAP clinic does not have the space or infrastructure to house street animals. We have kept street dogs overnight before, but have also witnessed these dogs experience complete panic at the prospect of being locked up and have even seen them chew through metal kennels in their attempts to escape. It is always risky keeping street dogs in kennels if they are not constantly supervised throughout the night.
Unsurprisingly, the next day Juanito was back at the clinic; this time, he not only had the same wound but he had also been involved in a fight with another dog which only worsened his injury. Once again, he was cleaned and treated, and for the second time, we were faced with the prospect of having to send him back to the streets.
We could only think of one person who might be able to help us… We called Don Fernando, one of our most loyal clients at the clinic (he currently takes care of 6 dogs in his home). He was the reason we originally got to meet Juanito. Don Fernando is a total dog lover; he has adopted many dogs and it is very common to see him walking around Valdivia, late at night with a bag of treats feeding street dogs. He has become a familiar face ever since the GAAP Clinic opened its doors.
Don Fernando, moved things around in his house and managed to make space for Juanito to stay for the next 4 days (enough time for his recovery). Don Fernando brought him again for his check-ups and we were happy to see Juanito was doing great and would soon be 100% healed.
Sadly, Don Fernando can’t keep him indefinitely and Juanito will be back in the streets eventually.
We still have hopes that Juanito will one day find his forever home. But for now, Juanito is guaranteed to have plenty of people who love and care for him, like Don Fernando and the GAAP Clinic.
At the GAAP Clinic, we are building an emergency fund to help animals with no owners, like Juanito, but also for animals of owners with economic limitations.
You can support this emergency fund by going to our donation page and clicking on the option “Veterinary Projects in Chile”.